If you would like to support this site, please consider Donating.
Useful Temperate Plants

Asplenium bulbiferum

G.Forst.

Aspleniaceae

+ Synonyms

Asplenium bullatum Wall. ex Mett.

Asplenium cavalerianum Christ

Asplenium viridissimum Hayata

Caenopteris bulbifera (G. Forst.) Desv.

Common Name: Hen And Chicken Fern

Asplenium bulbiferum
Plant growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Jon Sullivan
Creative Commons License
Asplenium bulbiferum Asplenium bulbiferum Asplenium bulbiferum Asplenium bulbiferum Asplenium bulbiferum

General Information

Asplenium bulbiferum is an evergreen ferm with a short, ascending rhizome. It produces a cluster of erect to arching fronds up to 120cm long and 30cm wide. The plant often produces new young plants along the edges of the frond - these drop off naturally and will often root and grow into new plants.
The plant is traditionally harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.

Known Hazards

Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
Alaska Northwest Books; Alaska
Year
2003
ISBN
0882403699
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Australia, New Zealand

Habitat

Terrestrial or epiphytic, growing on riversides in lowland and lower montane forest in New Zealand.

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Fern
Height0.30 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Asplenium bulbiferum is not very frost hardy and will only succeed outdoors in the mildest regions of the temperate zone where frosts are occasional and fairly light. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Requires a moist humus-rich soil in semi-shade.
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

Root - cooked[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
]..

Young fronds - cooked. Used before they uncurl[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
], they have the tenderness and the taste somewhat like a slightly bitter asparagus[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
]. The young fronds were sometimes cooked by the Maori and left in water for about two weeks, by which time they had acquired an acid taste. The taste was like that of tinned asparagus, slightly acid, and it was considered a great luxury[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].
Older fronds cooked and eaten as greens[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

Medicinal

An infusion of the roots was used as a wash for cutaneous complaints[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].
A wash obtained from the root is used as a treatment for sore eyes[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
].

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Spores - best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Germinates in spring[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. Spring sown spores germinate in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse. Keep them humid until they are well established. When they are at least 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.
This plant can also be propagated by means of small bulblets that form on the sides of leaves in the growing season. Pot these bulblets up when they detach easily from the parent plant and grow on in the greenhouse for at least the first winter.

Add a Comment:

If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.